Monday, December 19, 2016


A 6.30am wake up call this morning, we left at 8.00am leaving Switzerland and heading for France... Our overnight stop tonight is Lyon in France.

Breakfast wasn't quite as good as yesterday, there was no fresh cut up fruit this morning, also I really didn't feel like a big breakfast as I didn't have a good night sleep and felt a little off.  Decided to take it easy and just stick with a little juice, and some ham and cheese on a bread roll a d a croissant with raspberry jam to finish up with my cup of tea.

We were able to see Mt Blanc and the Matterhorn in the distance

We did manage to get away on time.  It was a beautiful day, so clear.  Being such a clear day as it was, we were able to have a good clear view of both Mt Blanc (the White Mountain) and the Matterhorn, the tallest mountain in Switzerland.  Both were still covered in plenty of snow.  We were even able to take a couple of photos.   One of the things we really noticed this morning as we drove through Switzerland on our way to France were the number of jet trails in the sky.  They were everywhere, more than 50 easily across the sky.  Unbelievable that so many flights can be so close in the air together at any given time.

The drive again today was really lovely, more beautiful scenery although we weren't up in alps the same today.  We had a half hour stop for morning tea just after Lusanne, and then stopped for lunch just over the French border.

 The trip was pretty uneventful,  I actually had a couple of small sleeps on the bus today.

 We had some trouble getting into Lyon to our hotel as roads were closed and the bus had to try and reroute.  We had hoped to be at our hotel by 2.30pm but in the end it was 3pm before we arrived at our hotel.  We are staying at Metropole Hotel and how impressive is it.    Our rooms are big, and we actually have a lovely view of the river.  Pity we are only staying here one night.  The Hotel is like a classy resort with lots of outdoor entertaining areas,  lazy boys to lay around on, bars near the pool and a huge pool, bigger than an Olympic pool.

We also discovered some indoor and out door tennis courts also with the Health Spa and fitness centre.

On the bus today we were given a little box of Swiss Chocolates.  We are often spoilt with little gifts, chocolates, fridge magnets, world class ice cream vouchers, special drinks.  All though  little they all small, they still make you feel special.

One of the extra's we've received here in Lyon is a specially guided tour with a local expert through the old streets of Lyon.

 We left the hotel at 4pm in the chariot (bus) and had a drive around town so that we could get our bearings.  We were dropped off in Vieux Lyon (Lyon Old Town).  It is the largest Renaissance district of Lyon and the city's oldest district.  There are three distinct sections to this area, Saint Jean, Saint Paul and Saint George.

The Saint Jean quarter was the focus of political and religious power in the middle ages.
The Saint Paul section was predominately Italian baker-merchants and they moved into sumptuous  urban residences called hotels particuliers (a townhouse of grand sort) in the 15th and 16th centuries.   The Hotel Bullioud and the Hotel de Gadagne are two magnificent examples  and the Hotel de Gadarne now houses the Lyon Historical Museum and the International Puppet Museum.  The Loge du Change stands as testimony to the period when trade fairs made the city wealthy.

The Saint George section is where the silk weavers settled in the 16th century before they moved to Crou Rousse till in the 19th century.

 In the middle ages, where there were only a few parallel streets between the hill and Saone, the firest traboules (hidden passages) were built.  We were taken through several traboules -these are corridors through buildings and their courtyards, connecting one street directly with another.  We had fun exploring these architectural heritage of galleries and spiral staircases in these secret passageways.

Other cities have some of theses passages but in Lyon they were originally used by self   manufacturers and other merchants to transport their products.  They also had lots of underground passages; but these have been blocked off now.  They are mostly used as storage areas.

 From walking through the old town and heading down these hidden passages looking at the various forms of architecture.  We then moved onto look at Lyon Cathedral.  It is a Roman Catholic cathedral dedicated to Saint John the Baptist in Lyon.

 They began building this church in the 12th century on the ruins of a 6th century church.  It was completed in 1476.  The cathedral also housed the Lyon Astronomical clock from the 14th centurary.  This clock is 9m tall.  The central tower octagon of the clock supports several automated figures.  An angel on the left turns the hour glass, an angel on the right keeps the the time for the three angels who strike bells to sound the hymn of Saint Jean Baptiste.  The Virgin Mary kneels in a chapel and turns to the Angel Gabriel as he opens the chapel door, while a dove descends, representing the Holy Spirit.  A Swiss Guard rotates around the dome.  Movement stops at the sounding of the hour. 

The stained glass windows in the Cathedral were also quite stunning and unfortunately the photos just do not do it justice, 

From here we walked back across the bridge to the La Place Bellecour, which is a large square in the centre of Lyon.  In the middle of the square is an equestrian statue of King Louis XIV.  The Square is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  From here we were shown the Rue de a Republique.  This is the main shopping street of Lyon.  We walked one more block down and Gary showed us a street where the locals eat.
  We ended up stopping at a street restaurant called Attelier of Yvonne.  It was reasonably priced and we had a 3 meat meal.  It was served with vegetables and  my goodness how good did it taste.  It was about 18 Euros each, much cheaper than some of the other places we looked at.  We really enjoyed our dinner, and the company of our other dinner guests.  The owner bent over backwards to accommodate us and meet our every need, even opening his restaurant an hour earlier for us.  He also served us a mushroom mouse  which was on the house.  All very nice and if every we were there again, we would make a beeline to this place.

 On our way back to the bus, we headed down this side street where we noticed some nice fountains and then noticed this amazing "Flower Tree".  It is a piece of contemporary art.  It was first created in 2003 by Korean artist Jeong-Hwa Choi.  Choi created the piece to take part in the 7th biennial festival of Contemporary Arts in Lyon.  The colossal work consists of 85 individual plastic flowers, each as large as a car door, grouped together as though grown like a tree.  The effect is that of a rainbow dome of whimsical flora.  It was colourful and added a cheerfulness against a background of old buildings.

We were to be back at La Place Bellecour to be picked up by 7.45pm.  I think we all beat Gary back and gave him a round of applause when he arrived back to the bus (this was something that everyone did to the last people to step on the bus during our tour)  Gary was usually the first on the bus. 

We arrived back at our hotel a little after 8.15pm and as it was still light, Steve and I went exploring and found our way out to the pool area.  It was so pleasant out there that we lay on some lazy susan lounges for half an hour or more just relaxing before we turned in for the night.
Such a clear evening sky,  we watched several of these jets fly overhead.
It really was a perfect day, and the sky was so blue.  Whilst we were laying by the pool, we saw numerous planes flying over head leaving their jet trails.  I think we counted about 13 in the half hour of so that we lay there.  Even took a couple of photos of them.


  © Blogger templates 'Neuronic' by 2008

Back to TOP